Annual Review – Highlights of 2018-19

Law for Life strives for social justice by legally empowering individuals and communities. We believe everyone should be equipped with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to deal with the law-related issues they are likely to encounter in the course of their lives.

  • We specialise in targeted and tailored public legal education that is user-centred, empowering and preventative.
  • We deliver award-winning access to justice assistance that brings together on and offline help.
  • We combine research and practice to achieve excellence in public legal education and information. We promote the importance of high quality public legal education and information (PLEI) in order to develop and share good practice.

The difference we make

76% of our survey respondents identified as actual or potential Litigants in Person

“Your site is brilliant. It’s helpful to see all the help resources in one place and written in such plain language. I have even recommended it to my ex-wife.”

As part of our housing project we created three new guides looking at what to do if you are threatened with or made homeless.

Advicenow’s housing guides were viewed 77,641 times this year.

“Easy to follow. Gave us some hope.”

75% of participants in our training programme said that as a result of the training they would be able to help private renters who have received S21 eviction notices.

90% of participants reported that that the information received would enable them to help people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

We developed an information guide and a short film for Roma families explaining the legal framework of child protection and delivered three community training sessions for Roma community members: in London, Rotherham and Derby.

“This guide is invaluable for those working with Roma families. Equally, it will be of use to anyone who wants to understand more about safeguarding procedures. It is beautifully written, and presented and is easy to understand.”

Our reach

Our Advicenow service attracted 1.9 million pageviews, a 9% increase on the previous year.

801,948 people from England and Wales used Advicenow.

22% of respondents to our survey are helping someone else with a problem.

Our digital tools produced 16,825 personalised letters.

Our films have been viewed 90,315 times

54% of Advicenow survey respondents identified as disabled

56% of Advicenow survey respondents have a household income of below £1,100 per month after tax

Our community education programmes have reached over 30 community groups across 5 regions in the last year including migrants and refugees, faith groups, LGBT groups and housing support organisations.

Our influence

We submitted evidence to the LASPO 2012 Post-Implementation Review and the Justice Select Committee on Court reform.

We contribute to the Litigant in Person Engagement group of the HMCTS Court reform programme as their ambitious plans progress. We provide support to the Solicitor Generals’ PLE committee and to the Administrative Justice Council Advice Sector Panel and the Legal Empowerment Impact Working Group convened by Namati.

We have a broad range of clients who seek our expertise through consultancy.

Last year these included the Bar Standards Board, Tenancy Deposit Foundation, the Ministry of Justice, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and Warwick University.

Looking ahead

Expanding digital pathways to affordable help

We will build on our reputation as an innovative organisation that is recognised as the place that people go to when they have a legal issue. We want to help them work through their problem, understand more about it and feel confident to begin to tackle it, and also to understand what services are available, where and at what cost. We are a trusted resource that can help people to navigate the legal system better, and make informed choices. This involves working with a range of expert legal service providers from which the customer can choose if they need more help, with seamless transition to affordable legal help.

Digital innovation in personalised legal tools

We think personalised tools will feature significantly in the future. Tools that help people prevent problems and empower them to sort them out when they do happen.

At present around a third of people just go it alone with their legal problem, with a third more turning to family and friends. We recognise that part of the solution is to work at a community level so that people can help one another support and improve their bargaining position in common legal disputes. We will build on our community education programmes expanding delivery to three new regions.

We will also expand our suite of interactive tools, connecting to the best, most accessible technology for delivering access to justice.

Research and evaluation

We have ambitious plans for building our evidence base and demonstrating what works to support our service users. We will bring together leading information providers nationally to help analyse the growing gaps in the legal information ecosystem. As Brexit looms the demand for information will grow and we aim to be future facing in the interests of our beneficiaries. We will work to identify how best to reach those for whom traditional legal services are failing. Our target audiences will include hard to reach women experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse, migrant and refugee groups with a focus on their housing and welfare needs and people living with mental or physical disability. We will also expand our capacity to evaluate the legal capability measures that our programmes address, how this interacts with digital capability and what real world benefits our approach to empowerment can garner. In all these areas we will work with a range of partners and stakeholders to guide our thinking and ensure our research endeavours are user centred.

Law for Life full Annual Review 2018-2019

Past annual reviews

Published: 10 December 2019

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